Richard Taunton Students Find Out What it Takes to Be a Successful Football Coach 

Lee Bradbury, former professional footballer and current Assistant Head Coach at Crawley Town FC, recently shared his expertise with students during a talk and Q&A session over Zoom.

Before moving into management, Lee enjoyed a 14 year playing career with over 500 professional appearances. He gave students an insight into his background, the sport, and his time as a player. 

Students also learned about what Lee looks for in coach, and he gave them some key pieces of advice:

“When you’re coaching – don’t try to be anyone but yourself. When I select coaches I need to know they are hard workers; they’ll be with me all the way, withstanding the pressure and showing resilience.

You need to build up a good rapport with the players and encourage a fun and educational environment, but there also needs to be a balance. Remember, you are there to consider the performance of the players and give feedback to them, and the management, without bias.”

Furthermore, Lee spoke to students about the impact that the media has on the sport, including the positives and negatives of using social media and the importance of looking after your mental health.

Tom Barge, Head of Sport, arranged and led the session. He said:

“Today’s session was a great opportunity for the students to learn from someone who has achieved so much in the game. Lee spoke very openly about his time working in professional football at a variety of levels. He shared some of the tactics his Crawley side used on their FA cup run this year, giving students a great insight into what it takes to be a professional coach. I know myself and the students would like to thank him for his time and wish him all the best with the rest of the season.”

Student Views

Students on the Sports Coaching course also spoke about how useful it was to hear from a professional in relation to their course.

Taysharn Bannister, formerly from Cantell School, said:

“I enjoyed hearing Lee talk about not just the best parts of his job, but also the worst, so that we understood the challenges we may face as coaches ourselves.”

Dylan Bennett, formerly from Redbridge Community School, said: 

“The Q&A today went really well. It was good to be able to listen and talk to someone with Lee’s experience of not just being a player, but also moving into a managerial role in the professional game.”